Once upon a time, the most successful business models were conceived to exploit clear gaps in established, stable commercial markets. Why take a risk in new, undeveloped areas when existing ones were rich with opportunity?
But something happened on the way to the corporate future: Startup enterprises began unlocking value at extraordinary levels, and established systems were shaken by disruption. Technological and social transformations set in motion a different kind of economy — an innovation economy — defined by constant and accelerating change. Continue reading
It’s easy to see why anyone could have trepidation when it comes to dealing with today’s speed of change. Keynote speaker Robert Safian said the chaos is neither good nor bad, but it is real and must be acknowledged and dealt with. “The world is changing. It’s changing at a pace that we haven’t seen before, and we’re not really trained for it, and we have to retrain ourselves to be able to make the most of it,” Safian told Alabama NewsCenter. “The opportunities with all of this change are spectacular, but you have to open yourself up to those ideas.”
One of my colleagues in Silicon Valley shared an experience with a programmer who wanted to work on a project. The programmer was quirky in the extreme; he wouldn’t look the project lead in the eye and spent most of his time staring intently at his own shoes. The interview was awkward, with the programmer talking at length about his video game play, while responses on work topics were monosyllabic.
To wrap up the 2018 VM Summit, Robert Safian, founder of Flux Group and former editor-in-chief of Fast Company engaged the audience through four lessons and seven questions. His aim was to showcase the kind of tactics that define the modern company. These lessons and questions that Safian went through explored office and organization culture and the need for businesses to focus on “missions.”
One of the key differences between being a manager and being a leader is the focus from what you do in business to how you get things done. How do you enable employees who have good ideas to build upon them in a safe environment and make them great, free from the burden of bureaucracy? How do you start from a place of trust and measure results, not just in increments of time, but also by creative pursuits, productivity, and overall outcome?
The Bellwether Effect: Stop Following, Start Inspiring
Working with some of the most inspiring leaders in the world he has pondered why organizations adopt, invest in and continue to support ineffective business practices, often erroneously referred to as “best practices”, even though there is scant evidence that they work, and plenty of evidence that they don’t. Many leaders are so disconnected from the operating and administrative practices of their organizations that they are relying on what they are told by others for their sense of the organization’s pulse. This creates an echo chamber, an “emperor’s new clothes” syndrome, and what Lance Secretan refers to as the accompanying “dissonance”—a perception at the top that all is well, while the experience in the rest of the organization is that it isn’t.